Day 2: Walls of Tufa


Tufa is a type of stone that was used often by Etruscans as building material. Usually shaped like a rectangle, it was not too heavy, but sturdy—ideal characteristics for the construction of walls. Today, in C Central, we discovered a large concentration of tufa blocks in the middle of the trench. What was odd about the placement was that it was aligned with the wall that stretched across the western part of C Central along with the wall that sprouted from the eastern side.

Even more odd was the fact that the tufa stones were not intact; rather, they were chipped off and many of them were not at the same height level. After several hours of considering what this peculiarity might be, we hypothesized that the wall had been broken down after it was built. Why? That question is still left to be answered.

In trench A today, Will and Taylor dug down in a well that they had discovered a couple days ago. If you take a look at the photo gallery, you can see the method that they used to dig it—Will was upside down, head first into the well as Hannah assisted him from the side, trading buckets and handing tools. So far, not much has been discovered within the well besides shards of pottery.

After a hot morning, I returned to the convent to work in the lab, sorting and cleaning pottery. I was taught how to discern between refined commonware, commonware, and amphorae. Refined commonware were thin, smoother, and whiter than the other two. Commonware was often burnt since they were used to cook. Amphorae were the thicker. Although these descriptions are very vague, once you learned the feel of each type, you were able to quickly distinguish between each type. After sorting, I wrote down numbers for each artifact and then moved to washing.

Earlier in the day, Professor George informed me that I will be working on measuring Etruscan inscriptions Friday, a job which I am most excited for. In addition, I will be making a visit to Crocifisso del Tufo in the afternoon, and helping clean up the weeds that currently infest the site. Stay tuned for the recounts!

Tomorrow, however, I will be working in the photography lab. It will be my last opportunity to take pictures of the artifacts as part of “Dig Umbria.”

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